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Lee Tate

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Lee Willie Tate
(Skeeter)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 10", Weight 165 lb.

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[edit] Biographical Information

Nineteen-year-old infielder Lee Tate was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies from the Lubbock Hubbers of the West Texas-New Mexico League in the 1951 minor league draft.

On his way up the ladder, Lee had several average years but 1954 stands out as a major helper on his resume as he hit .295 for the Nashville Vols of the AA Southern Association and fielded the shortstop position at a .970 clip in 97 games. But it was the 1958 season with the Omaha Cardinals of the American Association where he showed his merit. "Skeeter" was now 26 years old and played in 54 consecutive games without committing an error for Omaha in '58 plus hitting at a .292 pace and being named as the Association's All-Star shortstop. He would appear in 10 late season outings for the 1958 St. Louis Cardinals, managing 7 hits in 35 at bats and fielding at a .950 clip.

Tate was back at Sportsman's Park in 1959, appeared in 41 games managed 7 base-hits again but only a .140 average and he picked up 6 errors in 82 chances. This was the end of "Skeeters's" major league days and he finished out with a .165 batting average and .966 fielding percentage in The Show. Lee finished out 1959 with the Rochester Red Wings, appearing in 68 games and hitting .234.

The slender shortstop would play pro baseball through 1965. After 1959, it was all AAA ball with the exception of his final season where he finished his 15-year career with the AA Austin Braves. Lee would hit .291 for the Louisville Colonels in 1961 and .281 in 1962. Tate had a lifetime .273 minor league batting average and a .976 fielding percentage when he retired from the pros at age 33.

Tate resides (as of last notice) in Omaha, NE, where he was employed by the AAA Motor Club before his retirement.

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Baseball Players of the 1950s

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